On April 19, Miguel Díaz-Canel was sworn in as Cuba’s new president. This marks the first time since the 1959 Cuban revolution that a non-Castro is leading Cuba.
While there is much speculation around what this will mean for Cuba’s future, one thing is certain: Cubans are in the midst of a new political era, and a new generation of leaders must navigate serious economic and political challenges fueled by the Trump administration.
Travel to Cuba from the U.S. has dropped by more than 50 percent since the start of 2018. This is largely seen as a result of the Trump administration’s tightening of travel restrictions and the State Department’s travel warning, which was issued due to unexplained and unverified health incidents affecting U.S. diplomats. Many, including our partners at RESPECT and Republican Senator Jeff Flake, a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, regard the travel warning to be unfounded
Given that Cuba remains one of the safer destinations for travelers in the world, the Trump administration’s rollback of the Obama-era travel opening can be seen as a return to a tried-and-failed U.S. strategy: strangle the Cuban economy to undermine Cubas’ leadership and facilitate regime change. This policy hasn’t worked over the last 60 years, and it won’t work moving forward. The loss of visitors has put a tremendous strain on economic growth and ultimately hurts the Cuban people. Tourism is Cuba’s third largest source of income and is considered central to Cuba’s economic development.
The administration will likely double-down on its punitive approach with Senator Marco Rubio at the helm of U.S.- Cuba policy, and now with hardliners John Bolton and Mike Pompeo in top national security and diplomatic positions.
In response, we are doubling-down on our solidarity with the Cuban people. Global Exchange has offered legal travel to Cuba for more than 25 years. We invite you to travel with us to take a stand against Trump’s rollback on U.S./Cuba relations and to demonstrate your solidarity with the Cuban people.
Check out four of our upcoming people-to-people Cuba trips below. You can find more on our website.
October 5 – 14, 2018
This unique people-to-people Reality Tour will highlight key cities and history behind the Cuban Revolution while celebrating a new era of leadership and exploring changes underway. We’ll move from Santiago de Cuba to the mountains of Sierra Maestra, the beautiful city of Camaguey, Santa Clara and then on to the sprawling city of Havana.
November 18 – 25, 2018
Play Ball! Join us for our Second Annual Baseball themed delegation to Cuba. We’ll meet with Cubans working in the baseball and softball sports sector, learn about Cuban baseball, culture, and history, and learn about the impacts of U.S. foreign policy on Cuban athletes and society at large. We’ll even have the chance to catch a few playoff games!
December 5 – 15, 2018
On this trip, we’ll examine the African roots of Cuba’s vibrant culture and history. From Havana to Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of African culture and the Revolution, we’ll experience Afro Cuban religious music and performance while hearing from Cuban experts on race, gender, art and religion.
December 28, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Join us on this special delegation celebrating our 30th year Anniversary, the 60 year anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and New Year’s! We’ll examine Cuba at a crossroads in the areas of arts, culture, community, sustainability and history. After ringing in the New Year in Havana, we’ll make our way to Cojimar, the setting for Hemingway’s Old Man and The Sea, the port city of Matanzas, and Varadero. We’ll stop in Cienfuegos, the birthplace of Cuban musical icon Benny Moré and the renowned film Fresa y Chocolate as well as Santa Clara, and finally enjoy our last few days of exploration inside the enchanting walled city of Camaguey.
Photo by David Deriso
Everyone is talking about Cuba after President Obama and President Castro simultaneously announced changes to Washington’s 54 year blockade against Cuba and the travel ban denying U.S. citizens the right to travel to Cuba. This announcement ignites new hopes for normalized relations, and what better way to witness this key moment in history than to travel to the Island with us on a very special trip!
Join Global Exchange as we explore the history, culture and beauty of an often misunderstood place from the inside. We offer unparalleled access to the people and institutions that make the island tick, from political leaders and scientists to musicians and dancers. Whether you’ve never been or this is a return trip, now is the time to explore what this intriguing island has to offer.
Photo by Jenny White
In late January, the Canadian Broadcasting Company aired two episodes about Cuba on it’s program Rewind. Using more than 75 years of radio history, the program pulled stories from the archives a year before and a year after the Cuban Revolution, creating The Cuban Revolution – A Look Back, in two parts. These episodes are great background to plan for your trip to Cuba with Global Exchange!
Part 1 examines the events that led to the Cuban Revolution with a documentary from December of 1958, just weeks before Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista. The roots of the revolution started in the summer of 1953 when Fidel and his brother Raul Castro, along with a group of others, launched a guerrilla campaign against the dictatorship. During the years that followed, CBC Radio occasionally reported on the attacks, counter attacks and skirmishes. In May of 1957, when Castro and his rebels were organizing and fighting from their position in the hills of Eastern Cuba, CBC brought the story to its listeners.
In Part 2, it’s a year later, Batista has been overthrown, and Castro and his guerrillas are in power. In April of 1960, the CBC program Project 60 decided to go back to Cuba to see what had happened since their last visit before the revolution.
And then, join the Revolution and Change Reality Tour to Cuba! For more information, click here